ECU football expects improved quarterback play as they prepare for Gardner-Webb

Gardner-Webb at ECU this Saturday at 6 PM
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU football gearing up to take on Gardner-Webb this week for the second time in four seasons. The Pirates won in 2019 48-9 and will need great quarterback play to see more of the same this Saturday.

“I am excited about both Alex and Mason,” says ECU head football coach Mike Houston, “I would expect they are both going to play big parts in our program and our team down the stretch this year. Both of them will be ready to go on Saturday and I would expect both of them will be better the next time you see them on the field.”

“It wasn’t much different other than I guess I was in with the one o-line a little more,” says ECU quarterback Alex Flinn about preparing to be the starter, “I just try to approach it like I am going to play every week so I will be ready when my name is called.”

Alex Flinn started at App State in the Pirates’ 43-28 loss. He was 17 for 31 for 158 yards passing. He did throw 3 interceptions. He also ran for 6 total yards thanks to three sacks.

“We have got to do a great job as an offense functioning and playing together,” says coach Houston, “Obviously, Alex did a lot of really good things on Saturday. He also had some mistakes.”

For what it is worth Flinn was again with the first offensive line at practice on Tuesday. Holding the positions Mason Garcia had held earlier in the season. We’ll see if that means anything. One thing is for sure he will be ready to face Gardner-Webb this weekend.

“The one thing I know about Alex is he is going to learn from his mistakes and he is going to be better the next time,” says Houston.

“I think with the more game reps I can get, I will continue to improve,” says Flinn, “I will just continue to be ready when my name is called.”

You can tell by his attitude Flinn is one of those character guys coach Houston always speaks of on the Pirates. Offensive Coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick certainly agrees with that assessment.

“He’s an amazing young man. He’s a 4.0 student, already graduated, he was the student of the college in exercise science,” says Kirkpatrick, “He’s now working on an MBA. He’s making straight A’s in that as well. I wish I could introduce him to my daughter. He’s that kid. He really is that guy.”

That guy and the rest of the Pirates know they are working too hard for this losing streak to continue.

“It’s tough,” says Flinn, “We just have to stick together as a team, as a group, as a family, and keep that first. Don’t try to get down on any guys.”

“We just gotta keep going. Off this, off the 0-3,” says ECU running back Rahjai Harris, “Keep building because at the end of the day we are 0-0. We are not in conference play yet.”

ECU host Gardner-Webb this Saturday at 6 PM at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. It is the “Paint it Gold” game so fans should plan to wear gold.